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Our Church

Our Slogan. “Where Jesus is Lord, Love abounds and Everyone is an Evangelist.”

Our Vision: Service to our community and to the world that meets the needs of  the total man. (Socially, Economically, Educationally and Spiritually.)

1 The Starting Point of the Ministry must be God—Not Human Activity.

2 The Guide for the Ministry must be the bible—Not Human Wisdom.

3 The Focus of the Ministry should be people—Not programs.

4 The Environment of the Ministry is the Corporate Body—Not Individualism.

Our Purpose: Obey God! In prayer, praise, worship, fellowship, the word, giving, witnessing, soul winning and in outreach.

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The vision of The Potter’s House International Ministries, formerly known as Word of Faith Ministries, Inc., began to unfold in June of 1988 with roughly 50 members. The Lord gave Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin a vision for a ministry that would provide not only practical teaching of His Word, but also evangelistic outreach to the community, genuine praise and worship, a Christian academy and ministry that would meet the needs of the total man. As the Lord began to add to the church daily, the first church facility (located on Seaboard Avenue), which held a capacity of only 400 was not able to accommodate the growth of the ministry. Knowing this, our visionary and overseer began to pray and to seek God concerning our next move. In a miraculous move in October of 1992, the ministry purchased an abandoned former car dealership for renovation on Lane Avenue. In the meantime, services were temporarily held at Ed White High school while renovations of the new sanctuary took place. The new 800-seat sanctuary, gymnasium, youth church, recording studio, nursery and classrooms were completed in April of 1993. As the ministry continued to progress and reach out to the spiritual and physical needs of the hurting, Bishop McLaughlin began to sense God moving in the spirit. God had shown him that he wanted to perpetuate the vision. The need for mending and shaping his vessels for the work of ministry was more prevalent than ever. In order for the ministry to embrace this vision, the Lord impressed upon Bishop McLaughlin’s heart to change the name of the ministry. Therefore, using Jeremiah Chapter 18 as the impetus, on March 1, 1995, the name was officially changed to The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship, Inc.

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As prayer for souls continued and additional ministries were added to meet the needs of the people, the vision continued to unfold. In August of 1996 the ministry began The Potter’s House Christian Academy with an initial enrollment of 90 students. Bishop’s wife, Lady Narlene McLaughlin obtained her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and became the founding principal/administrator of the school. Still following the mandate of God to reach the community, the ministry began to enlarge its physical territory through the purchase of a 41,000 square foot former AT&T phone center in September 1995. The center was renovated into a multi-purpose facility known as the “Multiplex”, which was unique in design first of all because its layout was hand-drawn by Bishop McLaughlin and secondly, it housed a multiplicity of businesses (many of which were owned by members), including a federal credit union, dry cleaners, café, law offices, men’s clothing, gift shops, Greyhound bus terminal, a beauty salon and barber shop, a dance studio, the elementary school campus, the ministry’s administrative offices and a state of the art outdoor basketball arena called the Blacktop. This was truly the exemplary of economic empowerment for the Kingdom of God and has drawn the attention of many from around the world.

In 1998 the vision reached new heights through the purchase of 27 1/2 acres of undeveloped property located less than one mile from the Lane Avenue location (on the corner of Lane Avenue and Lenox). The intent was to build a new church facility, house a 2,000 student school campus with a sports complex and provide for the elderly and those in need. However, In April 2000, God shifted the vision slightly by causing the church to bloom where it was planted with the erection of a new 2,100 seat auditorium known as a Sprung Structure. Amazingly, at that time, the membership was rapidly approaching 3,000 strong. Being a man of faith, Bishop held fast to the written vision that God gave him when he started the ministry. Through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, God opened his eyes to a piece of land within 1 mile of the existing property.

In November 2002, the ministry took possession of a 48-acre, 376,000 square feet shopping complex formerly known as Normandy Mall. In November 2003, a portion of this massive space (the 103,000 square foot Sam’s Wholesale Club), was converted to accommodate the need for church growth and the facilitation of additional ministries within the local church. Once the first phase of the new facility was completed, (which included a 4,200 seat sanctuary and an 11,000 square foot nursery) the Lane Avenue facility was converted to accommodate the growth of the school by creating new classrooms and converting the prefabricated Sprung structure into a gymnasium. In 2005, phase two of the mall renovations were completed, which included a 800 seat children’s church, a coffee shop and teen café, a full recording studio, a lecture hall, a wedding chapel, conference rooms, administrative offices, book store and much more.

In Spring of 2006, renovations began on the last 177,000 square foot of the mall and now it is the home of the Westside’s largest shopping venue and is now known as Kingdom Plaza. People come from all over the world to see and marvel at this once dilapidated facility that now houses Jacksonville’s number one soul food restaurant, THE POTTER’S HOUSE SOUL FOOD BISTRO. The 300 seat restaurant anchors the mall along with the 14,000 square foot state of the art fitness and aqua center (Temple Builders). Anchoring the east end of the mall is a 22 lane bowling alley and game room called King Pins Bowling center. The mall also is the home to Eden Spa and Salons, a full service day spa with the latest in spa equipment. There is also a jewelry store, men’s fashion store, tee shirt shop, pro bowl shop, computer store, music equipment store, health food store, medical supplies store, insurance company, realty offices, barber shop, Job Corps, full day care and pre-school center, two academies, and more to come. And the vision continues to unfold with our visionary’s eyes set on the 27 1/2 acres of undeveloped land . . . waiting for the next move of God. We’re sure that the best is yet to come.